Your Spiritual Growth Reading List

One surefire way to increase your spiritual health is through reading wisdom that points back to God. The Christian book market is exploding, and often it can be tough to know where to start.  I decided to make a list of books for beginners, intermediate, and advanced followers. Consider this your reading guide, your “books every Christian should read” list.  


You’re starting on your spiritual journey OR just starting to read about Jesus & the Christian Life.  These cover basic faith themes  without needing to learn “Christianese.”

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
This book was extremely helpful for me in understanding my own personal faith

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
Francis Chan is one of the greatest speakers you’ll ever hear, and this book rings true to his personal style while teaching some encouraging (and at times convicting) truth about what God’s love looks like.  

Straight Talk: Clear Answers about Today’s Christianity: by Gary Pattengale
 An amazing explanation of “Christianese” terms, making it easy for new believers to understand big concepts

Messy Spirituality: God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People by Mike Yaconelli
I’m messy.  My bet is you’re messy, too.  Don’t worry, God loves us anyway.  Incredible, refreshing read!

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren

You’re committed. You’ve read some basics. Now go deeper!

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster
Richard Foster gives extremely practical guides for practicing spiritual disciplines: prayer, meditation, service, etc.  In my opinion, this is a must read for every believer.  

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
If you like philosophy, you’ll love this book!  This is THE essential C.S. Lewis text you’ll want in your library.


Heavy stuff, serious readers only

Confessions by Saint Augustine

THE quintessential Christian Classic.  

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of spiritual giant, Bonhoeffer’s, greatest works.  

Commentary Series
These are verse by verse, or passage by passage, studies of Scripture.  They include detailed background information, facts on ancient cultures, and seek to interpret the text as faithfully as possible.

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set: This is what I use when prepping sermons, writing blogs, or just studying the word.  4 commentaries cover the whole New Testament.  It’s a bit of a financial commitment but I am one very satisfied customer!

The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew:  I have many books in this series as well and reference them regularly.  Sometimes, I read through them during my daily time with God.  I’ve grown immensely from reading through commentaries like these.  I’ve linked just to the one over the book of Matthew. 

Do you need a Bible?

Life Application Study Bible (NIV): Includes practical resources for everyday life

The ESV Study Bible: One of the best study bibles that has come out in a while

NLT Study Bible: One of the easiest to read translations, the NLT is great for all levels

NIrV, Adventure Bible for Early Readers, Paperback, Full Color (for kids!)

The Message:  Bible paraphrase in easy to understand and inspirational language.  Not a true “translation” but a great tool to have and read from if you want some inspiration or to hear the Bible put into common language.

2 Replies to “Your Spiritual Growth Reading List”

  1. Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.

    Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit by Henri J. M. Nouwen

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